American Cinema

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Hollywood.

When people think about of Hollywood, they probably think of film stars like Marilyn Monroe, Gary Grant and James Dean. Hollywood is the center of the international movie industry and American movies are distributed all over the world. They are made in English but often dubbed into other languages. In some countries 90 percent of the movies that people see are US production. Sometimes, a film is not very popular with Americans, but people in other countries like it. The first films were made in Hollywood in 1911. Between 1930-1945, the five largest Hollywoods studios produced most of the movies and owned most of the movie theatres in the United States. Making films is expensive. On the average, it costs 36 million dollars to produce a movie. Some of this goes to pay the salary of well-known movie stars and large sums can be spent on special effects like computer-generated imagery (CGI). Marketing the movie to the public may cost another 17 million dollars or more. To cover these costs film companies receive money for movie theatre tickets and the sale or rental of videos. They also sell CDs of the soundtrack and toys, books, or clothes associated with the movie. Indeed, there was a time when Hollywood was the most famous place in the USA, if not the world.

The Hollywood story begins at the end of the last century.

1887. A man called Harvey Wilcox bought a large ranch in a district north-west of Los Angeles in California. His wife called the land Hollywood.

1902-04. The first cinemas (nickelodeons) opened in the USA.

1911. Two brothers from New Jersey built Hollywoods first film studio.

1912. Film-makers from the east coast of the USA came to California, first in small number and then in thousands.

1912. The Hollywood industry was born.

There were several reasons why film makers went to Hollywood. Firstly, there was a lot of space, secondly, Californias warm sunny weather was ideal for making films outside. Thirdly, there was a variety of locations for filming: ocean, mountains, deserts, villages, woodland and rivers.

By 1939 the great dream factory studios made nearly 500 movies a year, drew American audience of 50 million a week and earned over 700 million dollars at the box office-all with the help of 30,000 employees who dealt with everything from processing film to fan mail.

In the 1950s and 60s Hollywood became more international. Famous stars like Maurice Chevalier from France, Marlene Dietrich from Germany and Sofia Loren from Italy came to Hollywood. Even today many international stars like Gerard Depardier and Arnold Schwarzeneger make films in Hollywood.

A big film studio, like MGM or Warner Brothers, brought to life a lot of film stars. They could make or break a star.

The Hollywood film studio produced different types. There were the silent Charlie Chaplin comedies of the 20s, gangster films, Frankenstein horror films and Greta Garbo romantic melodramas of the 30s, the musicals of the 40s and 50s, the westerns (cowboy films) of the 50s, the historical epics of the 60s, the science fiction films of the 70s and the Steven Spielberg action films and violent horror films of the 80s. Who knows what the next century will be famous for?

Beverly Hills.

Most visitors to Los Angeles, California want to go and see Beverly Hills. This is where you find the homes of the movie stars. But Beverly Hills isnt Los Angeles. Its a small city next to Los Angeles. All kinds of celebrities live in Beverly Hills. These celebrities may be movie stars, television stars, sport stars, or other people in the news. Tourists can buy special maps for the homes of the stars. These homes are very beautiful. They usually have swimming pools and tennis courts. But sometimes you cannot see very much. The homes have high walls or trees around them. Beverly Hills is also famous for Rodeo Drive. This is one of the most expensive shopping streets in the United States. Rodeo Drive started to be an elegant street in the 1960s. Many famous stores are opened on the street. People liked all the new styles and fashions they could buy. Today you can find the most expensive and unusual clothing, jewelry and furniture in the world on Rodeo Drive. Rodeo Drive is a very special street. When you want to park your car in public parking, an attendant will come and park your car for you. Beverly Hills is really a small city. Only About 35,000 people live there. But during the day more than 200,000 people come to Beverly Hills to work or to shop!

: 15/02/2010